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Author of the week: Susie Orbach
When Susie Orbach published <em>Fat Is a Feminist Issue</em> thirty years ago, she instantly became &ldquo;the Freud of the female form.&rdquo; Her new book, <em>Bodies,</em> once again takes up the subject of &#
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usie Orbach is fighting a losing battle against “body hatred,” said Chitra Ramaswamy in the Edinburgh Scotsman. Thirty years ago, the British psychoanalyst published Fat Is a Feminist Issue and instantly became “the Freud of the female form.” Back then, her campaign to free readers of unhealthy worries about their appearance focused mainly on Western women and pinned blame mostly on the diet industry. Today, half of all South Korean girls are having surgery to change their eye shape, thousands of Chinese girls are having rods implanted in their legs to increase height, and even men are dabbling in liposuction and Botox. “I wish we could treat our bodies as the place we live from,” Orbach says, “rather than regard it as a place to be worked on.”

Orbach’s new book, Bodies, highlights how many people now treat their appearance as an ongoing creative project, said Deborah Solomon in The New York Times. Particularly in the developing world, parents encourage their children to imitate Western standards of beauty because they see them as a mark of “modernity.” Thinking hard about such issues is one way to escape the epidemic. Orbach claims to be comfortable enough in her own skin that she hasn’t even stepped on a scale since 1988. “If I were afraid of wrinkles, I’d probably be hiding in a cupboard, because I have a lot of them.”

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